Covers! On everyone's mind!

So, just as I was deciding that I needed to change my cover, I came across two different stories, one new and one, um, new to me about covers and book sales.

The first was this story in the Wall Street Journal about a book called The Madonnas of Echo Park, which is being given a new cover to juice sales. You need a subscription to actually read the story, though, which probably sucks for you. To summarize, the idea behind the old cover was that it would appeal to both men and women. Now, they've come up with a new cover, which is supposed to appeal to women. (Men in general don't buy as many books as women do.)

Maybe I'm saying this just because I'm a woman, but frankly, I think the old cover was pretty ugly. I don't know if it's actually going to help sales, but I think the new cover is much better looking. I also think that it looks more like Serious Literature now, which will probably help.

The other thing was this blog post from Joel Derfner regarding how they repackaged his excellent book Swish when it came out in paperback. This one speaks more to my concern that Trang does not look enough like adventure sci-fi: Swish is not fluff, and making it look like fluff turned out to be a very counterproductive strategy. I even empathize somewhat with the "Where's the Cher?" crowd, because for many months after my father passed away I deliberately consumed a media diet made entirely of saccharine, and I, too, would have been really upset to be getting a dead mother when I was promised hunky guys. (If you want fluff, hunky guys, and maybe Cher, try Joel's Gay Haiku instead.)